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Borneo is the world’s third largest island and is very much considered to be an intriguing, unique and exciting place to visit.  Covered by Indonesia to the south, Malaysia to the north and the tiny Kingdom of Brunei to the north west, it’s cultural diversity is immense.  Most international tourists tend to visit Malaysian Borneo as this part of the island is more accessible, benefits from some amazing beaches in the south China Sea and is of course synonymous with the famous Wildmen of Borneo – the orangutans!

 

Whether you’re looking for an adventure holiday, a culturally diverse experience or a wonderful beach holiday, you can get it all in Borneo.  Malaysian Borneo is split into 2 states – Sarawak to the south and Sabah to the north.  Whilst some tours will span this entire region, most visitors to this island will travel to Sabah to stay close to the city of Kota Kinabalu with it’s amazing beaches, National Park, Mount Kinabalu and of course its proximity to some of the wild populations of orangutans. The latter is often the main reason for anyone’s visit to Borneo and can be in the form of a visit to one of the orangutan orphanages such as the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre or a tour to the northern point of Sabah to the Danum Valley where these magnificent creatures can be found in their natural and undisturbed habitat. It really is a once if a lifetime experience.

 

Although this part of Borneo is officially Malaysian, there are also many cultural differences here compared to the mainland and it is important to experience these during your trip.  Whether it’s visiting a local family for an overnight homestay, tasting the wonderful local seafood cuisine, enjoying a tour of the stilt villages or taking a ride on the Borneo railway, there really is plenty to do and see which will enrich your stay.

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Climb Mount Kinabalu

 

 

Climb Mount Kinabalu

Peaking at 13,000ft, the magnificent Mount Kinabalu is located in the famous National Park with the same name and is a sacred mountain towering over the city of Kota Kinabalu.  Climbing this mountain is often quite high on most visitors ‘to do’ lists when visiting Borneo, but please remember that whilst there are many routes and treks up to the summit, you will need to overnight on the mountain.  You will, however, be rewarded with glorious views on your decent the following morning!

Zip Line from one Island to Another

 

Zip Line from one Island to Another

Ziplining is pretty exhilarating at the best of times, but if you’re looking for the ultimate adrenalin rush try the Coral Flyer which whizzes you over the ocean between the beautiful Gaya Island and the nearby Sapi Island. There is also a zipline within the forests if you’re not quite brave enough to zip over the water – either way you won’t be disappointed. Book early though as it can get busy during peak months of travel!

 
Visit the orangutans at Sepilok

 

Visit the orangutans at Sepilok

Whether it’s visiting the intriguing orangutans at an orphanage or a sanctuary or experiencing them in the wild, this is one of the experiences that you simply cannot miss during your stay in Borneo. One of the best places to experience these magnificent creatures is at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Established in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned orangutans and to prepare them for a voluntary life in the wild, this is one of THE best places to see these gentle and fun creatures without venturing too far into the rainforest.

 
Learn to Dive

 

 

Learn to Dive

Now this could potentially apply to nearly all of the destinations in southeast Asia, however, if you’re going to take the plunge, spend the time, money and effort taking a Padi dive course, then you must do it in a spectacular place – and it doesn’t get much better than off the west coast of Borneo at Kota Kinabalu’s Marine Park ‘Tunku Abdul Rahman Park’. Diving enthusiasts won’t be disappointed either as there are an abundance of dive sites close to Kota Kinabalu teaming with coral and marine life as well as a wreck to explore.

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